By Peter Duru, MAKURDI
THE Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Gboko, the Most Reverend William Avenya, has suspended a priest, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia, from public ministry for getting involved in partisan politics.
The priest is a Benue State governorship contender on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
His suspension was contained in a letter to all Priests, Religious and Laity, Catholic Diocese of Gboko, dated May 20, 2023 and signed by the Bishop. It is titled, ‘Suspension of Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia from Sacred Ministry.’
Part of the letter read: “I write to communicate to you the suspension of my priest, Revd. Fr. Hyacinth lormem Alia from public ministry after series of admonitions to him.
“The Mother Church does not allow her clerics to get involved in partisan politics on their own. You are aware that my son, your brother and your priest has purchased the party forms to contest for the Office of the Governor of Benue State under the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), which is totally against our vocation.
“Therefore, to respond to the spiritual and pastoral needs of the Church in the Catholic Diocese of Gboko, I have suspended him from the exercise of sacred ministry.
“This canonical suspension takes effect from the moment it is communicated to him and lasts until he ceases from contumacy.”
Reacting to the suspension of the priest, the Head of Media and Publicity, Alia 2023 Gubernatorial Organization, Mr. Kula Tersoo, in a statement, described the development as ‘a normal practice of the church’.